There are plenty going overboard about Tottenham right now.
And, as they head into the North London derby with Arsenal today, Spurs seem to be everyone’s darlings.
I can see why because they tick a lot of boxes.
They play speedy, attractive football. Exciting young players Harry Kane and Dele Alli are capturing the imagination. And they are led by a go-ahead, ambitious manager who likes his football fast and furious.
But beneath all the gushing praise there is an underlying danger that this is a story that could fizzle out in the next couple of years.
Promise and potential is all well and good, but if it doesn’t materialise into silverware the bright new future that beckons for Spurs and manager Mauricio Pochettino could easily be snuffed out.
Mauricio Pochettino: Spurs dreaming of more than only finishing above Arsenal
If, a year from now, Tottenham still haven’t won a trophy this team could start breaking up.
I hope I’m wrong, but that’s the harsh reality of the modern game.
Players want to win things, otherwise they get itchy feet. The days of loyalty in football are long gone.
Kane and Alli might have been locked down on long contracts, they may have declared their undying allegiance to Spurs, but ultimately that won’t mean a thing if they don’t start winning trophies – and fast.
The England duo are two guys who can go to the very top and end up with cabinets bursting with honours.
I really hope that’s with Tottenham and that over the next three or four years they start to win big. But can anyone say that is guaranteed?
Players want to win things – if Tottenham don’t start filling their trophy cabinet soon then clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City will be circling like vultures.
People who know Pochettino say he’s got his players eating out of his hand. They love his approach and everyone at the club believes they could be on the verge of something special.
But with a season at bogey ground Wembley beckoning while the new stadium is built, followed by the 2018 World Cup which will put Kane and Alli in the global shop window, trouble definitely lurks.
Today’s turf war with Arsenal is the moment Tottenham fans have been waiting for. It’s a real chance to underline the power-shift from The Emirates to White Hart Lane after 20 years of languishing in Arsenal’s shadow.
But winning bragging rights over the Gunners for the next five years is a mere sideshow. If Tottenham are serious about writing the next chapter in their history they need to look at the bigger picture.
And they need to make sure they don’t get caught in the same trap that’s left Arsenal punters baying for Arsene Wenger’s head by accepting a top-four finish as success.
This is the second season that a rejuvenated Spurs have challenged for the title.
Last season, they managed to finish third in a supposed two-horse race. And while this term they look to have more steel, greater experience and a hunger to make their mark, they will still almost certainly finish empty-handed yet again
Two near-misses is just about acceptable given the age of Pochettino’s team. But three in a row would surely border on wastefulness.
If they are to play the role of nearly men yet again next season, it will raise an obvious question: Are Spurs the real deal or just pretenders to the throne?
That’s why next season the pressure will really be on for Pochettino, who this summer needs a world-class playmaker in the Eden Hazard mould and a back-up striker to strengthen his hand.
Because for all the back-slapping, the reality is that right now there are still lots of ifs, buts and maybes about Tottenham.
And that won’t go away until they’re at Wembley with a Premier League title or a Cup.
Will Spurs win the title under Pochettino?
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